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What Should I Consider When Looking for Dance Lessons?

Dancing can be used as a form of self-expression.
Ballroom dance requires specific training, which is different than ballet and other types of dance.
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  • Written By: A Kaminsky
  • Edited By: Niki Foster
  • Last Modified Date: 20 August 2014
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Many people have a desire to dance. Whether for personal enrichment or fitness, or as a hobby, dancing is a great form of self-expression. "Formal" dancing has taken a back seat to the more free-form rock and roll dancing, but lessons are still available for almost any form of dance, from swing to salsa. When looking for a place to take dance lessons, a person should consider what kind of dance he or she is interested in, for what purpose, and the cost.

The first point to consider is: what kind of dance? Someone who dislikes couples dancing probably shouldn't take ballroom, and a person who dislikes country music shouldn't get into line dancing. The person should consider his or her music and dance preferences, as well as fitness level. Some forms of dance, such as salsa and ballroom, can be very physically demanding, while others are more easily adapted to an individual's fitness level. Some dances are also found more often outside a studio than others. Most places with a dance floor may have people line dancing on it, and some centers offer square dancing or country dancing groups. A person should consider how much he will be able to use his dancing skills outside class.

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A second consideration is purpose. Why do you want to dance? Are you getting married and want to learn to waltz? Do you want to line dance at your favorite club? Do you want to learn to two-step and waltz as a couple? Is there a long-unrealized passion to get into ballroom dancing as a serious hobby? Or, do you just want to do something positive to enrich your life? All of these are valid reasons for wanting to learn to dance, and should be considered when looking for dance lessons.

An individual needs to think about how proficient he wants to become in his chosen area of dance, and should think about looking for classes and instructors at that level. For personal enjoyment, a community education class may be sufficient, while someone looking at a serious hobby may want to opt for lessons at a professional studio. Some people may even find that a video or DVD gives them enough instruction in their chosen dance form.

Cost is a third factor. Many clubs offer line dance lessons for a minimal fee, while intricate ballroom dance lessons will naturally cost much more. Anyone who knows the steps can teach line dancing, for instance, but a dancer will pay more for the expert tutelage required in more formal dancing. Some clubs or studios offer a discount for couples, while others do not. The person needs to consider whether he or she will need a partner to take the dance lessons, or if one will be provided.

Another question for those considering a studio is the contract. The person needs to consider whether what she wants from the dance lessons is worth the package price. Like a gym, she may be stuck paying the entire price, even if she stops taking the dance lessons. One option may be a per-class fee, so an individual can stop when he feels it is appropriate.

Someone who wishes to learn dance may look online for dance lessons in their area, but a good place to start is almost always a hobby club for dancers. Even if a square-dance club, say, doesn't specialize in ballroom, chances are they will know of a local ballroom group or instructor, and the dancer can begin there. Hobby clubs for dance also provide great opportunities to get to know other dancers in the area, as well as practice and tips from experienced dancers. Dancing, regardless of the kind, is an enjoyable recreation and nearly everyone can participate in some form of it.

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oasis11
Post 3

@Icecream17 - I think that belly dancing lessons would be fun, but I don’t have the nerve to take a class like this. I would definitely have to do with a friend because I am a bit shy when it comes to dancing.

I bet it is great exercise for your core because you are constantly moving your waist.

icecream17
Post 2

@Sunny27 - I agree with you. I know that a lot of studios will offer the first class free for their adult dance lessons so that you don’t have anything to lose when you try out the class.

I think that if you go with a group of friends or with a partner you will be more likely to continue with the beginner dance lessons because everyone else will be committed and you will be missed if you don’t show up.

Sunny27
Post 1

I think that a great way to find out if a particular type of dancing is for you is if you try out the class for free. Many studios will offer free introductory classes to new students because with all of the choices available making a choice can be overwhelming.

This is especially true regarding kids dance lessons. For example, when my daughter was younger she loved to hear about stories about ballerinas and since she was active as a young child I decided to have her take ballet classes but she hated it.

Ballet takes a lot repetitive moves that the girls have to master and this seemed boring to my daughter. She preferred more modern dance lessons with a lot more movement.

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